Our Network is Growing

The Chittenden Brook Hut was installed September 28. Reservations are now live for stays beginning December 1, 2018. Photo Credit: Kyle Crichton, Leave Nice Tracks.

 

Not one, but TWO new huts this winter.

 

A change is upon us. Our mountains have shed most of their colorful foliage – succumbing to the colder temps, shorter days, and imminent snowstorms. Most Vermonters (including myself) applaud the arrival of Old Man Winter, but some folks just haven’t quite figured out how to make the best of the season that produces frozen eyelashes and icy walkways. For those needing some cold-weather persuasion, we have two new reasons for you to stop complaining. And if you’re a die-hard winter fanatic, consider this an early holiday gift.

 

Reason One: The Chittenden Brook Hut

Installing the Chittenden Brook Hut. Credit: Kyle Crichton, Leave Nice Tracks

We are just over a month away from welcoming our first guests into the recently-installed Chittenden Brook Hut in Green Mountain National Forest. The anticipation is killing us, but we have some final work to complete during the month of November before we pop our champagne bottles. While just about every weekend has already filled up with reservations, there are still weeknights available throughout winter.

 

With prime access to the Brandon Gap backcountry zones, the Chittenden Brook Hut provides a true adventure experience. Add in propane heat and a four-burner cooktop, and you’re sitting cozily inside sipping your hot cocoa while the snow piles up for your morning ski or snowshoe. And if you’re someone who likes to plan wayyy in advance, you can reserve the hut through August 2019 to guarantee you and your family have the best summer basecamp in Vermont.

 

Reason Two: The Nulhegan Confluence Hut

The Nulhegan Hut. Credit: Sean Beckett

Part of our mission is to partner with existing and emerging hut operators to provide a diverse offering of huts to the general public. This not only helps grow our network faster than we could on our own, but it also strengthens the organizations with whom we partner. It’s mutually beneficial. And so we are thrilled to welcome the Vermont River Conservancy’s Nulhegan Confluence Hut into our network.

 

Located in the town of Bloomfield, VT, the hut is a short walk, ski, or snowshoe from the parking area, and the adjacent Nulhegan River provides a truly idyllic setting. For those looking to hear the authentic crackle and pop of a nice fire, this hut is heated with a wood stove, and just like the Chittenden Brook Hut, you’ll have a cooktop to prepare your meals. The best part? It’s already open for occupancy! If you’re lucky, you could reserve it today for a stay tonight.

 

And there’s more.

 

These views will be yours next year. Credit: The Trust For Public Land

If you were able to make it to our Birthday Bash earlier this month, you were given a sneak peak of preliminary designs for the South Pond cabin rebuild effort (recall that the original off-grid cabin was destroyed in a fire in January). We’ll be rolling those out to the public once we refine them a bit more.

 

While Chittenden Brook Hut is self-service (meaning you get the hut exclusively for yourself and the members of your party), South Pond will operate as a “mixed-use” model, allowing guests to interact with members from other parties as a live-in caretaker facilitates interactions/checkins and tends the hut and surrounding area for year-round recreation use. That means you’ll have the opportunity to reserve a private room or simply shack up in a less-expensive bed in a shared bunk room for a more hostel-style experience.

 

In addition to South Pond, we’re moving forward with a similar proposal in Stowe’s Sterling Forest, and we hope to have a path forward sometime this winter. On top of that, we are working closely with VMBA on the Velomont Trail to ensure our efforts align, and we have conducted site visits in Granville to scout for our next hut location and trail connectivity options.

 

We’re no longer talking about a concept. We’re making huts a real-life experience right here in Vermont.

RJ Thompson

RJ lives to be in the mountains, and he loves sharing his passion for the outdoors with anyone who is willing to join him on foot, skis, or bike. His love for the Green Mountains began in 2002 while studying at the University of Vermont, which led him to complete an M.S. in Environmental Studies from Green Mountain College. When RJ is inside, you can find him dancing to random folk songs with his wife, Olivia.